Skip to comments.An Assessment of Kenneth L Gentry's Internal Evidence For Dating Revelation
Posted on 03/03/2014 2:37:59 PM PST by dartuser
Kenneth L Gentry, Jr., makes evidence derived from exegetical data of the Apocalypse his major focus in building a case for dating Revelation prior to the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70. Even though acknowledging that other advocates of either a Neronic and Domitianic date for Revelation's composition find no direct evidence within the book for assigning a date, he proceeds to find "inherently suggestive and positively compelling historical time-frame indicators in Revelation."
He uses the contemporary reign of the sixth king in 17:9-11 and the integrity of the temple and Jerusalem in 11:1-13 to exemplify arguments that are "virtually certain" proof of a date some time in the sixties. Before a look at his exegesis of these two passages and several others, however, Gentry's general methodology deserves attention.
Again, since the main achilles heel of preterism is the date of the book of Revelation, a detailed examination is in order. Enjoy ...
Thanks. Been chewing on this topic for 40 years.
A little more explanation would be much appreciated.
There have been several threads over the past few days posted by an individual that espouses the preterist view of end times. This view would see the words of Jesus in Matt 24 and the book of Revelation as fulfilled in 70 AD with the destruction of Jerusalem.
Since the book of Revelation itself claims that it is a book of prophecy, those who hold to the preterist view must place the date of Revelation before 70 AD or else it cannot be prophecy, but merely writing down what already happened. This supposed early date for Revelation goes against the view of the vast majority of Biblical scholarship that John wrote Revelation on the isle of Patmos around 95 AD.
One particular preterist, Kenneth Gentry, wrote his PhD thesis defending an early date for Revelation; he sets out to 'prove' that it was written in the mid to late 60s AD. His approach consists of identifying both external and internal evidence. Since his external evidence goes entirely against the vast majority of Biblical scholarship, he was forced to weigh his arguments with a huge bias toward the internal evidence.
This article examines the internal evidence that Gentry claims supports an early date and presents counter arguments to his.
Hope this helps ...
Bump for later
This sentence broke something in my brain. I'm now obsessed with attempting to diagram it grammatically.
lol ... don't hurt yourself.
That would be me, though I am no preterist. Dispensationalists have the inability to distinguish between preterism and any other doctrine that does not adhere to their own contrived and gloomy doctrine.
>>>This view would see the words of Jesus in Matt 24 and the book of Revelation as fulfilled in 70 AD with the destruction of Jerusalem.<<<
That is not true. I, personally, do not believe the book of Revelation was fulfilled in 70 A.D.; nor does Dr. Ken Gentry. Let the record show that Dartuser is not a straight shooter (no pun intended.)`
>>>Since the book of Revelation itself claims that it is a book of prophecy, those who hold to the preterist view must place the date of Revelation before 70 AD or else it cannot be prophecy, but merely writing down what already happened.<<<
That is correct. Dr. Ken Gentry and I, and also many preterists, hold that view, since we have been fresh out of prophets for about 1950 years. You see, the blood of all the prophets was blamed on Jerusalem in the Gospels, and Babylon the Great in the Revelation. For some reason, our miniscule, peonic minds somehow fell into the "trap" of believing that Jerusalem and Babylon the Great were the same city. Heaven forbid! LOL!
>>>This supposed early date for Revelation goes against the view of the vast majority of Biblical scholarship that John wrote Revelation on the isle of Patmos around 95 AD.<<<
Heaven forbid (again) that we be contrary to the majority who believed in the flat earth, in the past, and it's global warming counterpart, today!
>>>One particular preterist, Kenneth Gentry, wrote his PhD thesis defending an early date for Revelation; he sets out to 'prove' that it was written in the mid to late 60s AD. <<<
I have read that book, twice. It is a very well-written, heavily footnoted book, with very few challengeable discrepancies (so far, I have only found two questionable footnotes, out of hundreds.) It contains a remarkable array of historical and biblical information that
challenges demolishes the status quo. This is THE BOOK dispensationalists do NOT want you to read.
>>>His approach consists of identifying both external and internal evidence. <<<
That is some scary stuff! Wait, isn't that what biblical historians are supposed to do?
>>>Since his external evidence goes entirely against the vast majority of Biblical scholarship, he was forced to weigh his arguments with a huge bias toward the internal evidence.<<<
This is very deceitful on the part of Dartuser by his omission. He knows (or should know) that nearly all, if not all so-called "historians" rely on a single paragraph by a second-century historian named Irenaeus for their so-called "proof."
Take careful note that Irenaeus was from the 2nd century: and his book was about a century removed from being "on-scene." Also take careful note that Ireneaus "contradicted" himself TWO PARAGRAPHS earlier in his own book, if the paragraph in question was interpreted correctly by this consensus of so-called "historians;" which it was not.
In other words, the so-called "historians" misinterpreted Irenaeus' words; and this post by Dartuser is much-ago about nothing, except as an attempt to smear the good name of a Reformed Presbyterian pastor and educator named Dr. Ken Gentry.
>>>This article examines the internal evidence that Gentry claims supports an early date and presents counter arguments to his.<<<
This ought to be fun
Is this sort of like the shadows and penumbras in the Constitution?
I forgot to mention, many of Dr. Ken Gentry’s early-Christian references can be read and/or downloaded at this site:
It should be simple to diagram if you have access to a warp-sensored, brushless, diametrically-opposed, hermetically-sealed, magnetically-stabilized, laser-guided divining rod. It worked for me.
Yes, the ole' false analogy.
I have read that book, twice. It is a very well-written, heavily footnoted book, with very few challengeable discrepancies (so far, I have only found two questionable footnotes, out of hundreds.) It contains a remarkable array of historical and biblical information that challenges demolishes the status quo. This is THE BOOK dispensationalists do NOT want you to read.
Lol ... Why would you assume I would not want someone to read this book? He lays out his case very well ... as you have said. Everyone SHOULD read the book.
Before Jerusalem Fell by Kenneth L. Gentry Jr.
Then get Hitchcock's thesis
read that and then decide for yourself whether Gundry's arguments hold water. Then read the Wayne House article ... then you are in a much better position to decide for yourself. I encourage everyone to read both.
all so-called "historians" rely on a single paragraph by a second-century historian named Irenaeus for their so-called "proof."
And there is where you expose your willful neglect. You have clearly not engaged Hitchcock's work. If you would have read his work, Chapter 2 of his thesis deals with the two earliest sources for the date of Revelation (Iraneus is actually the later of the two). Then you continue into chapter 3, you would find that he lists 20 more early citations that have evidence for the late date of Revelation.
This whole idea that the quote by Iraneus is somehow 'confusing' is a fabrication out of necessity. For almost 2000 years no reference who cites Iraneus was confused about what he meant ... it is only when the "early daters" required confusion on Iraneus' statement that his statement became confused.
In other words, the so-called "historians" misinterpreted Irenaeus' words; and this post by Dartuser is much-ago about nothing ...
It's not about nothing ... it strikes to the heart of your theology. You absolutely require the date of Revelation to be before 70 AD. And so you must reinterpret any data that contradicts that requirement ... or your entire system crumbles to nothing.
You don't seem to realize that with all the intricacies and ramifications that have resulted from even mild preterism, your theological system, while not purposely built on it, nonetheless, is currently teetering on ... the date of a book.
an attempt to smear the good name of a Reformed Presbyterian pastor and educator named Dr. Ken Gentry.
I have not smeared him. I have openly acknowledged that he indeed wrote a book that lays out his case well. He is probably an admirable man of God whom I will enjoy spending eternity with. But to equate my disagreement as to his eschatology ... and the presentation of a conflicting view with defaming his character ...
I have found that the softcopy of Schaff in Bible Works 8 to be much quicker ... its searchable.
>>>I have found that the softcopy of Schaff in Bible Works 8 to be much quicker ... its searchable.<<<
Yes I believe Hitchcock mentions Hegesippus as the earlier source to Ireneaus. I read his paper a few months ago.
My apologies. I misunderstood your post.
>>>Yes, the ole' false analogy.<<<
No false analogy was presented: only fact, which is: consensus is not fact.
>>>Why would you assume I would not want someone to read this book? He lays out his case very well ... as you have said. Everyone SHOULD read the book.<<<
I am really happy to read that. I agree 100%. The paperback is available on Amazon at:
>>>Then get Hitchcock's thesis<<<
My first exposure to his dispensational leanings was a Youtube debate against some poorly qualified opponent. He used the same tired argument you used: that a vast majority of Biblical scholars support the late date for the Revelation, which means it is nothing more than a tradition. He also tried to contort Matthew 23:39 to assist in his argument. I was unimpressed. However, I would recommend the Youtube debate at:
>>>This whole idea that the quote by Iraneus is somehow 'confusing' is a fabrication out of necessity. For almost 2000 years no reference who cites Iraneus was confused about what he meant ... it is only when the "early daters" required confusion on Iraneus' statement that his statement became confused.<<<
I did my own research and this is what Irenaeus wrote that many historians use as proof:
"We will not, however, incur the risk of pronouncing positively as to the name of Antichrist; for if it were necessary that his name should be distinctly revealed in this present time, it would have been announced by him who beheld the apocalyptic vision. For that was seen no very long time since, but almost in our day, towards the end of Domitians reign. [Irenaeus, Against Heresies, Book V.30.3]
Many historians assume Irenaeus was stating the apocalyptic vision was seen towards the end of Domitian's reign. That is not the only possibility, but I would agree it is the most reasonable assumption from the wording.
It is worth noting that Nero's full name was Lucius Domitius Nero. Nero died in 68 AD, two years prior to the destruction of Jerusalem. If John wrote the Revelation during the latter part of Nero's reign, he would be in his 60's, vs 95-100 if written during Domitian's reign.
The key time factors are "almost in our day" and "toward the end of Domitian's reign." That would mean that John saw the vision, wrote it in a book, had copies made, and sent them to the seven churches in Asia, all when he was approaching 100 years old. After his "release" he would "prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings" (Rev 10:11.) That would be difficult today for a man approaching 100, even with modern transportation.
Recall that John was supposedly in exile when all this transpired. It could have taken years to finish the work and actually send the books. It is also worth noting that John never mentioned that he was in exile, but was there "for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ" (Rev 1:9.)
Now, the puzzler: two paragraphs before Irenaeus wrote the above statement, he wrote the following. Please read very carefully:
"Such, then, being the state of the case, and this number being found in all the most approved and ancient copies [of the Apocalypse], and those men who saw John face to face bearing their testimony [to it]; while reason also leads us to conclude that the number of the name of the beast, [if reckoned] according to the Greek mode of calculation by the [value of] the letters contained in it, will amount to six hundred and sixty and six [Irenaeus, Against Heresies, Book V.30.1]
Did you get that? Two paragraphs prior to claiming the vision was almost in his day, Irenaeus was referring to approved and ancient copies of the book. The vision was almost in his day, but the copies of the book written about the vision were ancient? That is not the way people normally think, or write.
Therefore, we must assume that the historians have either misinterpreted his statement, or Irenaeus misstated one or more of the paragraphs. Whatever the case, it is not reliable proof, and should be discarded.
It is good that you took the time to look at the debate, however, a two or three hour debate (sorry, Im guessing here as I have not seen it) will not provide anything but a trivial bulletpoint summary of the 4-5 thousand hours of research in a PhD thesis.
You keep mentioning Iraneus ... Hitchcock's thesis answers the Iraneus issues ... and he goes on to document 21 more citations for the late date, one of which is earlier than Iraneus. You are best served by downloading his thesis and going through each citation for yourself.
We who hold the late date focus on Iraneus because he was a disciple of Polycarp, who was a disciple of John. So we have a quote from a second gen disciple of the author of Revelation. That is why the majority of scholars focus on Iraneus ... that is solid stuff.
Hitchcock's contribution to the debate provides additional evidence for the late date. This is the content of chapter 3, the 20 other citations that suggest the 95AD date.
I have read through page 61 (about half-way through Chapter 3.) So far I have seen nothing definitive; only conjecture. The reason for that conclusion is there is nothing definitive known to man. Opinions on external evidence from both sides is strictly that: opinion.
It is a shame Mark doesn't bother to take the time to make his dissertation searchable. To make it useful as a research tool, it should be searchable.
>>>We who hold the late date focus on Iraneus because he was a disciple of Polycarp, who was a disciple of John. So we have a quote from a second gen disciple of the author of Revelation. That is why the majority of scholars focus on Iraneus ... that is solid stuff.<<<
I know what you believe. You obviously don't know what I or Dr. Ken Gentry believe because you mischaracterized our beliefs in post #4. If you continue to add new posts without correcting the record, I will be forced to withdraw my apology from #17.
On to Polycarp: he was not born until 69 AD, but later claimed to know John the apostle. Yet, there is no (zero) evidence that the person running around after 70 AD claiming to be John was actually John the apostle. Paul warned us about false apostles:
"For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works." (2 Cor 11:13-15 KJV)
What better way to make a name for one's self than claiming to be an apostle of Christ. I believe the real John was resurrected in 70 AD (the first resurrection in Rev 20,) along with the other apostles and elect: exactly as Christ promised; and the fellow running around afterward was an impostor.
Another major point: Dispensationalists use this statement by Polycarp to help "prove" a late date for the Revelation:
"I am greatly grieved for Valens, who was once a presbyter among you, because he so little understands the place that was given him [in the Church]. I exhort you, therefore, that ye abstain from covetousness, and that ye be chaste and truthful. Abstain from every form of evil. For if a man cannot govern himself in such matters, how shall he enjoin them on others? If a man does not keep himself from covetousness, he shall be defiled by idolatry, and shall be judged as one of the heathen. But who of us are ignorant of the judgment of the Lord? Do we not know that the saints shall judge the world? as Paul teaches. But I have neither seen nor heard of any such thing among you, in the midst of whom the blessed Paul laboured, and who are commended in the beginning of his Epistle. For he boasts of you in all those Churches which alone then knew the Lord; but we [of Smyrna] had not yet known Him. I am deeply grieved, therefore, brethren, for him (Valens) and his wife; to whom may the Lord grant true repentance! And be ye then moderate in regard to this matter, and do not count such as enemies, but call them back as suffering and straying members, that ye may save your whole body. For by so acting ye shall edify yourselves." [The Epistle of Polycarp to the Philippians, Chapter XI]
I can assure you that there is not a soul alive on earth that knows what that means. But dispensationalists "demand" that Polycarp was claiming that the church at Smyrna did not exist until after the days of Paul. That "proof," of course, is only in their imaginations. Historians are all over the place on what Polycarp actually meant, as should anyone be who can read without the blinders of bias.
I will give you that I do not know the details of your position in total in the sense that I cannot read your mind ... but I am having no problem getting the gist of your posiition from the few postings though ... when in doubt ... assume you believe it all happened in 70 AD.
Is this a valid presuppostion about your view that I am making? Perhaps not ultimately ... but so far I think it is. Why? Because without fail you have responded with a 70 AD scenario to all my objections. Therefore it is safe for me to assume.
You made a blanket statement that you do NOT believe that all of Revelation was fulfilled in 70 AD. Maybe this would be easier if you just let me know what part of Revelation DIDNT take place in 70 AD. How about ...
Do you see room for a second Second Coming? If so, will THAT one be visible, literal, and earthly? Where in the Biblical text is that event mentioned?
Is Satan currently bound in the abyss ... not as of yet ... or has he already been cast into the lake of fire? Is there a literal lake of fire for unbelievers and Satan in your view?
What about the Great Commission in Matt 28? Was that fulfilled in 70 AD?
I believe the real John was resurrected in 70 AD (the first resurrection in Rev 20,) along with the other apostles and elect: exactly as Christ promised; and the fellow running around afterward was an impostor.
If the first resurrection has already taken place ... in what sense are those who were resurrected in 70 AD reigning with Christ now? Who exactly are the elect that were raised with the apostles?
Would you not say that Jesus had in mind your ruling when he uttered Matt 19:28 (|| -> Luke 22:30) ... "you who have followed me will sit on twelve thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel." In what sense are they judging the twelve tribes of Israel?
Has the second resurrection happened yet? If not ... when does it happen in your view?
>>>I will give you that I do not know the details of your position in total in the sense that I cannot read your mind<<<
You could have taken the time to read my past posts. I can only guess that you were too busy to learn the truth, so you decided to mischaracterize my doctrine, anyway.
What about Dr. Ken Gentry? Why did you mischaracterize his doctrine? His website, and every book and article he has written, makes it clear he does not believe the Revelation was fulfilled in 70 AD? And his career is on the line! No Reformed Presbyterian pastor can believe in a 70 AD fulfillment of the Revelation, nor should they!
I withdraw my apology from #17. It seems you had every intent to smear us.
Dude ... you are now splitting hairs ... I am well aware that Gentry draws his line at Rev 19 and I have argued that this is an inconsistent view. I also know that he believes in a second Second Coming ... that another Second Coming with a sort of fuller fulfillment of the past fulfillment in 70 AD of Matt 24 and Rev. 19 is coming someday in the future. Ironically, his second Second Coming appears to be literal, visible, and earthly.
I'm guessing you would support a second Second Coming as well.
It's late ... I'm tired ... and this discussion is sapping energy that could be better used on Sunday school lessons.
>>>Dude ... you are now splitting hairs ... I am well aware that Gentry draws his line at Rev 19<<<
NO, DUDE! IN YOUR POST #4 YOU CLAIMED DR. KEN GENTRY AND I BELIEVED THE BOOK OF THE REVELATION WAS FULFILLED IN 70 AD. THAT IS NOT TRUE.
I have tried to correct myself by stating that I cannot read your mind ... while at the same time ignorning your remark that you can read mine ... "I know what you believe. You obviously don't know what I or Dr. Ken Gentry believe ..."
I clarified my remarks by being more precise concerning Gentry's position. Perhaps in the heat of the moment you missed that.
Let me spell out my position clearly. I have argued that there is no such thing as a partial, mild, or modern ... preterist.
There is only a consistent preterism (what most people call full or radical) and inconsistent preterism (what most people call partial, mild, or modern).
Why do I make this distinction? Because to believe that everything up to Rev 19 was fulfilled in 70 AD (Gentrys position) but Rev 20-22 is still future (he allows a second Second Coming, a final judgment, yadda, yadda) is to ignore the charge in Rev 22:10 that the time is near for these things; which ironically (in light of Rev 1:3) is one of the pillars of the preterist argument for why Rev 6-19 must have described the events of 70 AD.
How can the fulfillment of 6-19 be assured because the time is near (Rev. 1:3) but Rev 20-22 is still future ... even though the time is near (Rev. 22:10)? Its the double edged sword of seeing 'the time is near' as requiring the 70 AD event.
This is why I argue that there is no such thing as mild or partial preterism; there is only inconsistent or consistent preterism. Gentry's brand is inconsistent preterism. By what you have told me, namely, that Rev 6-20:6 happened in 70 AD but that all of Rev has not been fulfilled ... my conclusion is that you are an inconsistent preterist with Gentry. You admitedly have differences with him, but in the sine qua non, you are an inconsistent preterist. Perhaps you mix in some additional flavors of eschatological thought (historical premill, reconstruction, post-mill) into your view, AND THAT IS FINE. We both have the burden to defend our particular position.
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ ...
I'll give you the last word ...
>>>There is only a consistent preterism (what most people call full or radical) and inconsistent preterism (what most people call partial, mild, or modern).<<<
>>>Why do I make this distinction? Because to believe that everything up to Rev 19 was fulfilled in 70 AD (Gentrys position) but Rev 20-22 is still future (he allows a second Second Coming, a final judgment, yadda, yadda) is to ignore the charge in Rev 22:10 that the time is near for these things; which ironically (in light of Rev 1:3) is one of the pillars of the preterist argument for why Rev 6-19 must have described the events of 70 AD.<<<
That is also what Tommy Ice and Mark Hitchcock argue. I believe to be consistent, one has to think the opposite way. That is, if a short time period is given, say forty and two months, then consider it a short time period, unless otherwise directed. If a long time period is given, say 1000 years, consider it to be a long time period.
>>>How can the fulfillment of 6-19 be assured because the time is near (Rev. 1:3) but Rev 20-22 is still future ... even though the time is near (Rev. 22:10)? Its the double edged sword of seeing 'the time is near' as requiring the 70 AD event.<<<
It is a simple explanation. Throughout the Revelation short periods of time are mentioned, except once. The book goes into great detail (though cryptic) in every thing, except for the one long time period, which contains virtually no detail. In fact, Paul wrote about as much detail about the final judgement in 1 Cor 15:22-26, as did the Revelation in chapter 20. This is Paul:
"For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order:
[1: resurrection of Christ] "Christ the firstfruits;"
[2: first resurrection] ". . . afterward they that are Christ's at his coming."
[3: final judgement] "Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death."
This is the final judgement in the Revelation. Note that in each case, the last enemy destroyed is death:
"And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire." (Rev 20:11-15 KJV)
There are all sorts of references to the first resurrection, in practically every book of the New Testament; but only the occasional reference to the second resurrection. For example:
"But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God." (Rom 14:10-12 KJV)
There are clearly two accounts or resurrections. Those of the first resurrection cannot be hurt by the second death, which occurs in the final judgement:
"Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years." (Rev 20:6 KJV)
It is just as clear in this old testament prophecy that the first resurrection did not include everyone. In fact, in only mentions Daniel's people (e.g., Israel,) and specifically states that "many" are resurrected, not "all":
"And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book. And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt." (Dan 12:1-2 KJV)
One thing we should hear more often from dispensationalists, but don't, is the main achilles heel of dispensationalism, and all futurism generally, is the date of the book of Revelation.
Critics of Gentry's book have use several "debaters techniques" to mislead the reader. For example, in this post's article, author Robert L. Thomas writes:
"When discussing the 144,000, this author [Gentry] is uncertain at one point whether they represent the saved of Jewish lineage or the church as a whole. 14 Yet just ten pages later they are definitely Christians of Jewish extraction, because he needs evidence to tie the fulfillment of Revelation to the land of Judea.15 This provides another example of his lack of objective hermeneutical principles to guide interpretation."
When Gentry's work is read with a critical eye, the opposite is true. Thomas' footnotes cite pages 223-224, and 233. Let's analyze those pages, and in-between.
On page 223, Gentry was rehashing the debate of "who is the true Jew?" (Rev 2:9; 3:9) But he closes his rehash on p. 224 with this:
"And, of course, the twelve tribes of Israel is the longstanding historical configuration of the Jewish race. 12 In light of this, it would seem that two possible interpretations easily lend themselves to consideration: either this number represents the totality of the Christian Church as the fulfillment of the Jewish hope, 13 or it represents the saved of Jewish lineage. 14"
Note there are three footnotes: 12-14. The first is a long list of old testament references. The 2nd and third were by Henry Barclay Swete, and Saint Victorinus of Pettau, both late daters. Gentry continues:
"In either case the interpretation most likely supports the early date of Revelation in that Christian history was at a stage in which either the Church at large was called by Jewish names or in which the bulk of Christians were Jewish."
That was the "uncertainty" that Thomas cited. The problem is, there was no uncertainty. Gentry was simply using a heavily-footnoted, scholarly approach to derive at his conclusion, which was far from over on page 224. Other indicators used are:
1. The Revelation is very Hebraic, and some Hebrew words used (Rev (;11; 16:16)
2. The Church is depicted as a woman with a crown of twelve stars on her head (Rev. 12:1 ff ).
3. Christians are represented as worshiping in the Temple and ministering in Jerusalem (Rev. 11:1-8).
"In light of such evidence, we can safely observe that the Apocalypse of John plainly belongs to the period in which Jews and Christians still lived together." (p.225)
Then Gentry cites John A.T. Robinson, and comments:
"As noted in Robinsons quote, Barnabas, soon after the fall of Jerusalem (c. 100), posited a radical us/them distinction between Christians and Jews. This is in keeping with later, post-Temple Christian practice. Ignatius (c. 107) writes: It is absurd to speak of Jesus Christ with the tongue, and to cherish in the mind a Judaism which has now come to an end. For where there is Christianity there cannot be Judaism.18"
Afterward he quotes Justin Martyr, Brandon, Torrey, Streeter, and on and on and on, along the way to his conclusion. On page 27, he cited Tacitus in writing:
"Up until the era of the mid-A.D. 60s (but not after A.D. 70) the Remans -were prone to identify Christianity as a sect of Judaism, intimately and necessarily bound up with it.26 This was obviously due to: its object of worship (Christ, a Jew); its origin (Judea) and leadership (Jewish apostles), and the bulk of its membership (predominantly Jewish); its self-designation (Israel of God [Gal. 6:15], seed of Abraham [Gal. 3:29], the circumcision [Phil. 3:3] etc.); and its constant involvement in the religious life of the Jews"
On 229 he writes:
"Many scholars recognize the significance of A.D. 70 in the separation of Judaism and Christianity. Perhaps a catena of their authoritative statements will prove helpful in throwing light upon the matter. "
He then cites Schaff, Ewald, Harnack, Henderson, Brandon, Davies, Reicke, Dix, Frend, and Gieseler, before presenting his conclusion to Chapter 13 on page 231:
"The matter seems clear enough: When John wrote Revelation Christianitys situation was one in which it was still operating within Jewish circles and institutions to a very large extent. Its grammatical peculiarities and cultural allusions are evidently of a strongly Jewish color. Historically we know that this simply was not the case in the post-temple era beyond A.D. 70. The cleavage between Judaism and Christianity was too radical. Hence, this factor of the Sitz im Leben is indicative of a pre-70 date for Revelation."
Now on to Chapter 14, and pages 232-233. Gentry quotes James M Macdonald who argues his reasoning for believing only Jewish Christians were selected as servants. Then, for the first time, after a dozen pages or so of presenting arguments for the role of Jewish Christianity; Gentry presents his own reasoning for an Israel-only 144,000. This is only an excerpt:
"Clearly the reference to the Twelve Tribes is to Christians (as noted previously), for: (1) God intervenes to protect them, and (2) they are called bond-servants of our God. Just as certainly may we understand that these are Christians of Jewish extraction, for: (1) they are in the land (w. 1, 2), and (2) they are contrasted with the great multitude from every nation who praise God (v. 9). The designation Twelve Tribes is another common means by which to refer to the tribes of the land (cp. Rev. 1:7). Here, however, it is not the entirety of the Twelve Tribes that is protected (the whole race of Israel, as such), but only 144,000 of them, i.e., the cream of the crop, a perfect number,3 those who have converted to Christ. [Moses] Stuart presents a very logical question: Why were these 144,000 designated by Jewish tribes? His answer is most reasonable: it was because the pending destruction was threatened against Judea; if not, why should Jewish Christians alone be here mentioned and selected?4"
Where is the uncertainty Thomas claimed? There is none.